Why Vegan Fans Are Furious With The Great British Bake Off

Of all the different types of shows on television for fans to lose it over, you would think that a baking show featuring some of the most delightful desserts in town may not be one of them, but here we are. It all began when producers of The Great British Bake Off decided it was time to bring its first vegan baker on board. Freya Cox's presence was hailed as a win, particularly since vegetarianism and veganism is growing in popularity (via The Times of London). But producers hadn't counted on a tricky situation involving the young baker and the show's technical challenge, which only came to light after she posted a photo of a breathtaking tiered and layered cake on Instagram.

"IT'S CAKE WEEK!!!! Happy bake-off day, everyone. I made this cake to celebrate all things cake, inside is an orange sponge, lemon buttercream, and toasted flaked almonds. All vegan, of course," Freya wrote. But the chirpy vegan baker then alluded to the fact that she ended up having to use animal products during the technical challenge because to change the ingredients just for her would have changed the playing field. She then apologized, saying, "Sorry if this is disappointing to hear, but once the show has finished, I have plans to veganise the recipes for you all, so I hope this makes up for that."

The Great British Bake Off didn't prepare for its vegan baker

Vegans and animal rights activists now say that what might have started out as a win for dietary inclusivity became a marker of insensitivity on the part of the show's producers. Indeed, her social media followers couldn't understand why Freya Cox was made to work with animal products at all. One of her social media followers said the failure wasn't Freya's but the producer's. "With a little bit of thinking and research, the programme could provide the ingredients needed to make the technical vegan [sic], you would still be following the same recipe, just using slightly different ingredients," they wrote. "Or start increasing the number of rounds where dairy-free has to be used and work up to having all-vegan technicals. I feel I have to point out that it's not Freya I'm disappointed in, I think it's really exciting and a big step forward in having her on the programme and hope she's in it for a long time and even better if she reaches the final" (via Instagram). 

The Vegan Society also weighed in on what they consider to be an unfair situation for the 19-year-old vegan baker to be in. Society spokesman Francine Jordan has said that if the show thought of having a vegan baker onboard, she should have been given vegan ingredients to complete her task (via The Times of London).